Swedish shipowner, GAC would apparently be one of the firsts to implement this for their seafarers
Crew due for change are now allowed in Sri Lanka with valid vaccination records. GAC Sweden issued details of the procedures for the vaccinated, unvaccinated and partly vaccinated seafarers entering and exiting Sri Lanka.
Signing on and off made easier
GAC recently outlined their steps for crew change in the country. Upon arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport (Colombo), all seafarers must report to the Ministry of Health counter to present their proof of vaccinations and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results 72 hours prior to boarding their flights from countries of origin. A blue stamp will be issued upon clearance, and to be in seafarers’ custody till they sign on. However, they would still be required to undertake another PCR test 48hrs prior to boarding the vessel (in the hotel). All transportation will be arranged by representing agents.
While some procedures remain the same, a red stamp will be issued instead for the unvaccinated or partially inoculated seafarers. They would also be quarantined for 7 days in a hotel, and issued a certificate. An additional PCR test would be carried out before boarding the vessel.
For crew (vaccinated or otherwise) signing off, representing agents would be doing the submissions on behalf for approval prior to disembarking. They would need to take PCR test after disembarking, and additional ones requested by the respective airlines. The unvaccinated crew are required to undergo 7 days quarantine and obtain the certificate before checking out. They will only be transported to the airport when their results are negative. The above procedures are applicable to surveyors, superintendents, technicians and owner’s representatives holding a valid seamen book, or a valid business visa prior to their arrival. It is certainly a welcomed relief for crew with GAC Sweden.